Norwegian Cruise Line Expands Operations Across Asia-Pacific Region

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Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has announced a significant expansion in the Asia-Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand regions, introducing over 30 new itineraries. The cruise line is now offering nearly 90 voyages from September 2024 through March 2026, marking the largest deployment in this area in its history.

The expansion includes the introduction of the 77,104-gross-ton Norwegian Sky, the 78,309-gross-ton Norwegian Sun, and the 75,904-gross-ton Norwegian Spirit to first-visits within the Asia-Pacific market.

“Our company is committed to delivering more opportunities for our guests to explore the world with remarkable vacation experiences,” said David J. Herrera, president of NCL. “Having lived in Asia with my family, I can attest to it being one of those unforgettable places.”

Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Karis48 / Shutterstock)

He continued, “With the increased interest in more immersive and exotic itineraries, we are excited to expand our season and offer additional ships to cater to travelers looking to uncover the most sought-out cities in the region, but also those less discovered.”

NCL’s new itineraries will offer an average of 10 hours in port, with over 30 overnight stays and visits to five new-to-brand locations in Australia and Japan. The season will feature seven debut Great Barrier Reef and South Pacific cruises.

Extensive New Offerings and Ports

Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy the most ships it has ever operated in the Asia-Pacific region with voyages from 15 departure ports, including new additions such as Cairns, Australia, and Lautoka, Fiji.

Other departure points include Auckland, New Zealand; Bali (Benoa), Indonesia; Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Manila, Philippines; Papeete (Tahiti), French Polynesia; Seoul (Incheon), South Korea; Singapore; Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan; Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan; and Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

The new itineraries span 9 to 19 days, covering over 60 destinations with extensive port stays, including 36 overnights. This includes a first-time overnight in Bali and Lembar (Lombok), Indonesia.

NCL’s first summer cruises in Asia will be part of this schedule, with the 2,032-passenger Norwegian Spirit making its debut on May 26, 2024, with a 10-day Japan cruise departing from Tokyo.

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Ship in Japan
Norwegian Spirit Cruise Ship in Japan

Following this, the Leo Class-ship will offer 9- to 15-day voyages through Japan and Southeast Asia from September 2024 to November 2025. Destinations include Himeji, Osaka, Tokyo, and Tokushima in Japan, and Hong Kong, Incheon, Taipei, and Bangkok.

Read Also: Australia’s Cruise Industry Poised for Unprecedented Growth

From December 2025 to March 2026, Norwegian Spirit will embark on 11- to 14-day journeys between Australia and New Zealand. Ports of call will include Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Lyttelton, Marlborough (Picton), and Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand, as well as Melbourne, Eden, Portland, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, and Syndey, Australia. The ship will also visit Hobart, Tasmania.

Meanwhile, the 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun, part of the cruise line’s Sun Class ships, will make its Australian debut in December 2024, sailing 12- to 15-day voyages between Australia and New Zealand, as well as island-hopping cruises in French Polynesia. Its Australian cruises will introduce new itineraries to the Great Barrier Reef and call on multiple ports in New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Fiji.

Norwegian Sky Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: pio3 / Shutterstock

Norwegian Sky, also a Sun Class ship that can accommodate 2,004 passengers, will also enter the Asian market in January 2025, offering select Japan and Southeast Asia cruises through March 2025.

Its Southeast Asia itineraries include calls in Ko Samui and Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Muara, Brunei Darussalam; and Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia. Japan calls include Ishigaki, Naha, Miyakojima, Kyoto, Naze, Nagasaki, and Mount Fiju (Shimizu).

Norwegian Dawn will join the Asian lineup in 2026.

Passengers can also extend their vacations with NCL’s Cruisetours in Auckland, Taipei, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney.

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